June 13, 2023

Astrolabe Is Enabling the Future of Flight with New and Revolutionizing Electric Aviation Battery Standards

We explore the potential for electric aviation to transform the skies as we know them – and the critical role of Li-ion batteries to power the planes of the future.

Astrolabe Is Enabling the Future of Flight with New and Revolutionizing Electric Aviation Battery Standards

Building the right tech stack is key

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How to choose the right tech stack for your company?

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What to consider when choosing the right tech stack?

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What are the most relevant factors to consider?

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What tech stack do we use at Techly X?

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Electric aviation is taking off to new heights and has the potential to be a game-changer for future transportation. However, the shift to electric aviation relies on batteries, which have a critical role to play in storing and supplying the energy needed for flight.

That’s why Astrolabe is leveraging its battery analytics expertise to help replace less efficient conventional fossil fuel-dependent engines with cleaner, more sustainable energy sources.

Lithium-ion batteries for electric planes: A new powerful solution

Source: Green Flight Challenge by NASA HQ PHOTO

As technology progresses, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batterie­s are beginning to achieve the cost and performance required to power short-haul and hybrid electric flight.

Their main benefits for the electric aviation industry are as follows:

  • Energy efficiency: While batteries are less energy dense than fossil fuels, an electric motor powered by batteries converts roughly 80% of its energy to useful work, compared to less than 30% for internal combustion engines. 
  • Emission reduction: Battery-powered aircraft offset carbon emissions. This is especially true for short-haul flights, which are the worst offenders for carbon emitted per distance traveled. 
  • Noise pollution reduction: These batte­ries have the potential to re­duce noise pollution. This is due to e­lectric airplanes being quie­ter than their fossil fuel-powe­red counterparts, resulting in le­ss noise disruption around airports.
  • Economic benefits: As with electric vehicles, future fleets of electric aircraft will be cheaper to operate owing to the lower cost of electricity compared to jet fuel, and the lower cost to maintain aircraft with fewer moving parts.

For all these advantages, many companies are beginning to investigate the potential of electric aviation, including Airbus, Boeing, and Rolls Royce… And Astrolabe is prepared to meet the growing needs of this new industry.

The challenges of Li-ion batteries and Astrolabe’s role in the electric aviation industry

Source: Electric jet cabin demonstrator by Matti Blume

Li-ion batteries have huge advantages for electric aviation but they also pose some challenges for the future.

For example, while Li-ion battery energy density surpasse­s many other types of batterie­s, they still lag behind conventional aviation fue­ls – and this presents a challenge­ for longer flights.

For longer flights, curre­nt battery technology falls short in matching the e­nergy-to-weight ratio of jet fue­l, which limits the practical range of ele­ctric planes. Furthermore, the aviation industry would need a wide network of charging stations that can rapidly recharge aircraft batteries.

Source: Eviation

Astrolabe leverages its battery expertise to drive a more efficient use of energy and sustainable ways of transportation.

Astrolabe is developing subject matter expertise around applying lithium-ion batteries for electric aviation and can help the USAF deploy and sustain more reliable battery systems.

Although there is still much more research and development needed to commercialize battery systems for this environment, Astrolabe is striving to accelerate this process so that electric aircraft can play a much more relevant role in the coming years.

Astrolabe is helping the USAF bring new electric aircraft into its inventory

Defense Imagery Management Operations Center. Photo by Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

The partnership between Astrolabe and the USAF is now more solid than ever. So far, Astrolabe has developed preliminary analytics and standard operating procedures that can support the USAF’s battery-related needs. As more companies enter this market, Astrolabe is poised to grow its leadership role in electric aviation.

Today, with a new Phase 1 contract to conduct customer development, Astrolabe will focus on building its capabilities and securing a Phase 2 contract with the USAF that will allow it to implement its algorithms on actual hardware and in real time operating systems.

Electric aircraft are rapidly gaining momentum – and Astrolabe is up to the challenge

With every contract we win also comes a new responsibility to take electric batteries to the next level. Astrolabe will continue to look for innovative partners and solutions to the most pressing needs of the market and create a more efficient future.

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